When it comes to making low-cost Bluetooth speakers, I've always had good experiences with Creative Labs. But Creative Sound BlasterX Katana is not just a Bluetooth speaker. The Katana was designed for players to be the first low-monitoring loudspeaker system for anyone who wants to improve their configuration.
Now, I would not consider myself a player (mainly because I do not have a PC), but I do play occasionally on my PS4 and I'm quickly approaching level 30 on Splatoon 2 on my Nintendo Switch. I know, I know, quite impressive. But despite my lack of credibility in the games, the system should not affect the way the speaker sounds. So when I had the opportunity to check it, of course I said yes.
Creative Sound BlasterX Katana is not what you would consider cheap at about $ 300, but is it really worth the money, or just a Bluetooth glorified speaker?
- Players (obviously). This goes without saying, but the sound bar to monitor under the monitor is perfect for players because of its slim design that can go directly to the desktop. In fact, I used it with my PS4 and I had no problems thanks to an optical input on the back.
- People in small apartments / university students. Due to the small size of Creative Sound BlasterX Katana, it is easy to find a place for it in a small room. In addition, it can double as the sound system when watching movies because of how strong it gets. And playing music through Bluetooth allows anyone to pair and play DJ.
Is the Creative Sound BlasterX Katana as sturdy as the legendary weapon?
No. But that does not mean it's cheap either. Although both the sound bar and the subwoofer are mainly made of plastic, the sound bar Creative Sound BlasterX Katana seems to be well assembled. It looks more like a spaceship in a strange way than an old Japanese weapon, but it still feels good to touch it.
Judging by the next giant box, you can expect the speaker to be something big, but that's just because of the subwoofer. The actual sound bar is approximately 60 cm long (about 24 inches) and weighs surprisingly little. I did not have any problems during the installation, because I could lift it and turn it to find the necessary ports. The subwoofer is a different story, with a height of 30 cm (13 inches); He definitely deserves a place under his desk.
Above, the sound bar is a smooth, brushed aluminum that maintains a minimalist appearance, despite the buttons and dual speakers. Unless you lose the included remote control, you probably do not have to use the buttons too much, and that's good because they are probably the worst part of building quality. The buttons look good at first, but once you start playing it you will notice the super plastic sensation that lets you know that this is where some corners were cut. At either end of the soundbar, you'll get two 63.5mm Midbass drivers that fire upwards to complement the dual 34mm tweeters that look forward across the grill. For everyone to follow the trail at home: that's four controllers plus the sub (which has a 133 mm driver), so it's a 5.1 configuration.
On the back, you will get all the necessary inputs to connect everything together. But the outstanding feature is what Creative calls the Aurora Reactive lighting system. For the rest of us, there are only LED lights along the bottom of the sound bar. At first glance, I could not move my eyes hard enough. If there is something you want to do to attract players, just throw some LEDs, right? But I have to admit that it's amazing.
It's supposed to work together with the RGB keyboard and the gaming mouse, but as I mentioned, I do not have any of that. And since the only piece of technology on my TV is color, it's really an elegant speaker. I thought the lights would be on your face, but they are quite subtle and you have the option to turn them off completely. You can also switch between some different color modes; so if you get tired of having all the pulsating colors of the rainbow, you can change it to a constant dark blue (my personal favorite).
All the entries are on the back, and it's a pretty basic design depending on your configuration. From left to right, get the power input, the subwoofer connector, microphone input, 3.5mm headphone jack, auxiliary input, optical input, and a USB input if you have music on a flash drive that you want to play. You can also play from a playlist if you have the Sound Blaster Connect desktop application, but it is only available for PC. Unfortunately, I could not prove this part.
I connected my PS4 through the optical input without problems and it was playing in minutes. I did not even have to look in any menu to change the settings. The speaker has a Dolby Digital 5.1 decoder (which was useful when watching movies) and has a 24-bit high-resolution DAC that you can take advantage of through the USB connection. Then, you can also connect via Bluetooth 4.2 if you wish.
The range is a standard 10 m, which is fine as long as it remains in the same room as the speaker. Once I left and started walking around the house, there were some stuttering, but that's to be expected.
When it comes to how Creative Sound BlasterX Katana sounds, one thing that surprised was how strong it gets. I did not expect the exit to be too high according to its size, but I was wrong. With the maximum volume, you can easily hear everything from a few rooms, so if you have roommates or live with other people, try not to be that boy.
 Even so, this configuration definitely lives up to my past experiences with Creative products. Even though the only Bluetooth codec is AAC, it manages to sound really good. This is probably due to the subwoofer, which does a great job separating the lower end of the rest of the elements in the song. The bass line in the song Egyptian Fantasy by Bria Skonberg easily crawls below the metal instruments exactly as it should, without masking any of the percussion elements.
In songs that have a bit more rhythm, like Get Free by Major Lazer, the bass notes are a little more powerful. But due to the separation between the controllers, he still manages to be strong without getting in the way of the other softer elements of the song. I will say that some of the maxima seem to lack clarity.
The introduction to the song What's Going On by Marvin Gaye made me think I had left the TV on in the background, because the people who They did not even seem to come directly in front of me. Obviously it will not rival a complete surround sound setup, but as I said, for a sound bar so small to be placed on your desktop, I was impressed.
If I could not tell from the overall tone of this review, I really enjoyed my time with Creative Sound BlasterX Katana. Normally, I would classify something like a "good sound" type of situation for what you're paying for, but that does not really work here. The Katana directly sounds great. It's still a pretty strong investment for anyone who wants to use it strictly for games, but if you also use it as your main configuration for movies and maybe music, it definitely seems worth it to me.
If you are looking for a setup to put in your new home theater room, this is not for you. It's probably better that you see something like the LG SKY10 sound bar. But I can see the wonders of Katana's work in a bedroom or an apartment situation due to its small size and great sound. If you are looking to intensify your audio game, this could be the decision.
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